In India, a win for net neutrality; presidential candidates, lost in translation; and more.
This is civic tech: Writing for TechCrunch, Stacy Donohue, investment partner at the Omidyar Network, offers three predictions about the rising fortunes of civic tech in 2016. First, a “new wave of citizen engagement tools and platforms aimed at education voters and boosting voter turnout,” like Change Politics. Second, “more funding opportunities than ever,” citing an internal study showing that 23 civic tech companies raised $285 million in 2015. And, third, more governments will embrace civic tech startups, citing the success of CityMart as one example.
Registration has opened for the School of Data, BetaNYC’s civic tech and open data conference on March 5 here at Civic Hall.
International internet: In a huge victory for net neutrality activists in India, the country’s top regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, announced new rules today banning internet service providers from having differential policies for accessing different parts of the web, Reuters reports. The decision is a huge blow to Facebook’s “Free Basics” program there. Here’s the authority’s full statement.
On Friday, Twitter announced that it had suspended more than 125,000 accounts “for threatening or promoting terrorists acts, primarily related to ISIS.”
That news was quickly overshadowed by Alex Kantrowitz’s story for BuzzFeed that Twitter was about to introduce an “algorithmic timeline” set off a firestorm of protest among loyal users of the app, leading Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to re-assure users that real-time feeds weren’t going away and that “we never planned to reorder timelines next week.”
Tech and the presidentials: According to former President Bill Clinton, after staffers from Bernie Sanders’ campaign took advantage of a database failure to access confidential Clinton campaign voter data last fall, “in private they sent an email out” saying that the Democratic party had left “the keys in the car, and all I did was drive off,” reports Jonathan Martin for the New York Times. Clinton’s harsh comments on Sanders, coming two days before the New Hampshire primary, mark a sharp shift in the ex-President’s public role in the presidential campaign.
Note to candidates: Google Translate doesn’t travel well. After observing how people are live-sharing presidential events in New Hampshire, An Xiao Mina of Meedan takes a close look at how social media works, or doesn’t work, in translation. Attacks on the “establecimiento” sound like you are attacking a physical building, rather than “el systema,” for example.
How well did Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns employ “voting science” in their get-out-the-vote efforts in Iowa? Harvard’s Todd Rogers and Adan Acevedo have the answer.